Sunday, November 30, 2003

There's too many of us! 

Proof that one shouldn't believe in something just because it's "science":

A study that compared humans with other species concluded there are 1,000 times too many humans to be sustainable.


William Rees, professor of community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia, disagrees that humans are abnormal and said, "I would use the term 'unusual' instead."

Rees explained that humanity has been inordinately successful. Unlike other species, humans can eat almost anything, adapt to any environment and develop technologies based on knowledge shared through written and spoken language.

Rees, however, said that we may be "fatally successful." He agrees that industrial society as presently configured is unsustainable.

"In the past 25 years we have adopted a near-universal myth of 'sustainable development' based on continuous economic growth through globalization and freer trade," Rees wrote in a recent Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society paper. "Because the assumptions hidden in the globalization myth are incompatible with biophysical reality the myth reinforces humanity's already dysfunctional ecological behavior."
Is this a scientist or a protester outside a NAFTA convention? I didn't know it was part of the "globalization myth" that humans wouldn't go extinct. I guess I was just brainwashed by The Man. But uh, haven't human population growth slowed down in the last 25 years during the period of globalization? All I hear about is that Europeans aren't having enough babies, and they're not exactly mating like rabbits in China and Japan either. The people in the other countries must be really picking up the pace, but I haven't heard anything about that. So what does globalization have to do with anything (unless one believes globalization has to do with everything)?

Maybe the researchers missed the part of history where humans learned to grow their own food. Or it was simply a few people not succumbing to common sense. The computer model on which the study bases says that the human species is sustainable for only 6 million of us, yet we've had over 6 million on earth for quite a long time now. One would have to conclude either a) there's something missing with the model, or b) we'll be extinct soon. What led the researchers to reach conclusion B, I have no idea. Well I have some idea, seeing that only a person with a certain political persuasion can say something like this:

Rees added, "It would be a tragic irony if, in the 21st century, this most technologically sophisticated of human societies finally succumbs to the unconscious urgings of fatally self-interested primitive tribalism."
I'm not a dumb guy, but I can't even begin to tell you what "unconscious urgings of fatally self-interested primitive tribalism" is and where I can get me some of that. And remember, we're relying on these people to tell us about global warming. But how can I worry about that if we're going to go extinct anyway?

From reading the article, the scientists seem to be recommending the final solution for 99.9% of us so that the other 0.1% can go sustain themselves. Maybe they can lead by example ...
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